Below is a recommended itinerary for a one week stay in Ireland surrounding the wedding:

Saturday, 15 March:  Recommended departure date from the States. 

Sunday, 16 March:  Arrival in Ireland.

  • It is recommended that you do NOT go to sleep upon arrival from the States.  The best way to avoid severe jetlag is to stay awake until your natural bedtime.  No joke, even if you have to pretend Freddy Kruger is after you, don't go to sleep or it will haunt you and you will be tired the entire rest of your trip.

  • Site seeing opportunity.  If you are flying into Shannon Airport, it is likely you will arrive in the morning.  This is a perfect opportunity to see a site or two on your way up to Galway.  The Cliffs of Moher are about 35 miles north and would be a perfect introductory site in Ireland.  From the Cliffs it is another 48 miles to Galway city.

Monday, 17 MarchPaddy's Day!

  • As you all know, St. Patrick's Day is Ireland's most famous holiday.  There is not very much concrete information about St. Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, but most stories say that he was kidnapped from Britain by pirates and brought to Ireland to tend sheep.  From here he escaped to France to study Christianity.  In 432 A.D., he sailed to Ireland and began converting chieftains of various Celtic tribes.  The fact that Ireland has no snakes is explained by a legend that St. Patrick drove them all into the sea.   To celebrate this event, people all over the world hole themselves up in pubs all day and get drunk...naturally.

  • Today is not a good day to go site seeing, as many places are closed and the percentage of drunk drivers on the road rises drastically.

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Tuesday, 18 March:  Recovery Day.

  • This will be the best day to do a day trip to one of the many sites around the Galway area.  Click here for a list of recommended sites.

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Wednesday, 19 March:  Tom Hockel's Birthday and Golf Day!

  • Golf Day.  Those who are staying the night of the wedding in the Castle are entitled to a complimentary round of golf on the Castle's pristine premises.  Since few people will be fit to golf the day after the wedding, and golfing the day of the wedding could be grounds for annulment, the Hotel has agreed to allow us to reschedule the complimentary round to Wednesday.  Be sure to let me know if you would like to participate so I can include you in the pairings.

  • Tom Hockel's Birthday.  Hmmm, lemme think.  I got it!  We'll go to a pub and celebrate that evening.

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Thursday, 20 March:  The Big Event!

  • The Wedding mass begins at 2 p.m.
  • The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.
  • The headache begins at 12 p.m. the following day.

Click here for more information on Galway Cathedral
Click here for more information on Ashford Castle
Check out these links to see photos from our May 2002 or December 2001 visits to Ashford Castle!

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Friday, 21 March:  Calm After The Storm.

  • Depending on how much fun you had at the wedding, today is another opportunity for site-seeing.  You are also welcome to stay another night in Ashford Castle at the same low price.

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Saturday, 22 March:  Possible site-seeing day.

  • For those of you who are not departing until Sunday, this is another opportunity for site-seeing.

Sunday, 23 March:  Depart Ireland.

  • Since those coming from the U.S. gain time on the return trip, leaving Sunday will still bring you back to the states on Sunday.  So if you wanted to maximize your week in Ireland you could put off leaving until today!!